07/12/2008 11:00PM

Harlem Rocker rebounds in Prince of Wales


FORT ERIE, Ontario - Harlem Rocker rolled to a convincing 1 1/4-length victory at Fort Erie in Sunday’s $500,000 Prince of Wales, putting a quick end to Not Bourbon’s Canadian triple crown quest.

Harlem Rocker, who had skipped the Queen’s Plate following an indifferent effort in Woodbine’s Plate Trial, evidently relished the return to dirt here as he remains undefeated in four starts on that surface.

Not Bourbon, meanwhile, was a disappointing sixth in the field of seven after winning the 1 1/4-mile Queen’s Plate at Woodbine.

This day belong to Harlem Rocker, who settled comfortably in fifth place in the early stages of the 1 3/16-mile Prince of Wales with regular rider Eibar Coa in the irons.

“He broke good, and I was able to place him right behind the speed,” said Coa. “When we came to the quarter pole I had to make an early move, and make sure I got the jump on the favorite.”

That move carried Harlem Rocker to the lead coming into the stretch but Coa had to keep him to task during the final stages as a charging East End Tap was making a strong bid.

“He got very close to me, maybe half a length,” said Coa. “Then my horse realized he had to start running, and took off again. He’s still green."

East End Tap, ridden by Elvis Trujillo, finished 2 3/4 lengths clear of third-place finisher Pronger at 20-1.

“On the far turn I asked him, and he got going,” said Trujillo, who was riding East End Tap for the first time for trainer Reade Baker. “He finished well."

Pronger, the longest shot on the board at 37-1, had another two lengths to spare on fourth-place Sebastian Song with Deputiformer, Not Bourbon, and Pewter rounding out the order of finish.

Jockey Jono Jones had no immediate explanation for the failure of Not Bourbon, who was the very marginal favorite at $1.10-1 with Harlem Rocker at $1.15-1.

“He was a little rank early, but I finally got him to relax,” said Jones, who had Not Bourbon in third place along the rail down the backstretch.

“I had a perfect trip, until about the three-eighths pole. Then, he was basically empty.”

Harlem Rocker, owned by Stronach Stable, shipped up from Belmont and was saddled here by Ginny DePasquale, an assistant to trainer Todd Pletcher.

DePasquale said Harlem Rocker was slated to leave Fort Erie early Monday morning for Saratoga and will make his next start there.

* Stonetown led throughout and prevailed by a nose following a stirring stretch drive with Marco Be Good in the Daryl Wells Sr. Memorial, one of two $50,000 five-furlong turf stakes on the Prince of Wales undercard.

In the Ernie Samuel Memorial, for fillies and mares, Klissura tracked down the front-running Archers Dream for a half-length score with Miss Terra another neck back in third.